Motherland is the third solo album by Natalie Merchant, released in 2001. It was her last studio album released on Elektra Records. The album is musically eclectic, varying from Middle Eastern violin–reggae beat fusion "This House Is on Fire" to 10,000 Maniacs-sounding "Tell Yourself". Folky "Motherland" precedes stylistically Merchant's next album, The House Carpenter's Daughter. Originally, "The End" was supposed to appear on the album instead of "Not In This Life.
The songs written for Motherland, Natalie Merchant's third solo album released in 2003, were half personal & inward looking, half topical & outward facing. The terrorist attack on the World Trade Center occurred just as the album was going to press and some themes of the album were considered prescient. The album features string arrangements by Stephen Barber, the first of many Merchant-Barber collaborations on future projects.
On Motherland Natalie Merchant tempers the chilly Northern tone of her work with an infusion of Deep Southern heat. Aided by co-producer T-Bone Burnett, she uses these tracks to explore a newly-found affinity for Delta blues and backwoods gospel. Songs like Saint Judas (a Flannery O’Connor-like scenario bolstered by Mavis Staples’ guest vocal) and Put the Law on You (a sultry number recalling Nina Simone) let Merchant adopt the slippery inflections and tormented moods of a damaged Dixie belle
Motherland (CD, Album). Elektra, EastWest Japan. Motherland (CD, Album). Motherland (LP, Album, RE, 180).
Motherland is the third solo album by Natalie Merchant, released in 2001. Merchant noted that: I'd take out one song, 'Not in This.
Natalie Merchant's Motherland album (2001) is dedicated to the victims of the 9-11 plane crashes, which occurred just days after recordings were finished. Experienced producer and artist T. Bone Burnett brings his expertise to the table, which pays off in terms of its aural expression and positioning Merchants songs in one coherent, excellent album. Her voice has deepened and her lyrics are socially conscious and intelligent, as always. Musically, each song stands on its own and fits seamlessly into the collection of tracks that make up Motherland. I think Natalie Merchant's most recent album, Motherland, is the finest piece of work she's ever made. I play this album non-stop. The title track is so like Jacques Brel it makes me cry; it's just sensational stuff. The album is timeless; it does not sound as if it will ever date or you will ever get fed up with it. And that is such an incredible thing to achieve.
Testi . Natalie Merchant . Album: Motherland. Wonder: Introducing Natalie Merchant. Paradise Is There: The New Tigerlily Recordings.